Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Best Lemonade

Adoption. A word and process that would change our lives forever. It began with classes to teach us about adoption and ended with a court case the likes our state's laws had never seen. Oh yes....did I mention the type of luck we have? A comedy of firsts....thats us! Actually, it wasn't funny. Actually, it tore my mind all to hell. Here we, are, doing everything right....exactly how our agency (remaining nameless so I will refer to them as THE A) wanted us to and end up being the 'bad' guys. We were handed this tiny 6lb 4oz bundle of sweetness, assured everything was in order, and told to go home and learn to love your child. What we didn't know (because of privacy issues with the birthparents) or were told was that the bfather was being uncooperative, which to THE A assured them that this was a done deal. If you're going huh? that's what we did when we found out 4 MONTHS LATER when we were told that the bfather wanted our child. My child, my baby, the one I had stayed up nights with, sang too, kissed, bathed and worshiped every tiny ounce of her being, the one who looked to me to protect and love her....who knew me as her Mommy. Who did this person think he was that he could just waltz back into the picture NOW and claim he wanted her? Over my bleeding, rotting corpse would he ever take her because I would fight with everything I had.

We rallied family and friends for support and money to help with legal costs and they came through. The support both monetary and emotionally flabbergasted me and still does to this day. That so many could give so freely was almost more than I could handle. I realized that losing Hannah wouldn't just effect me, she was a part of many person's lives too and they loved her as well. We hired an attorney who mumbo jumbo'd us with talk of habeas corpus, litigation, mediation, depositions and other legal terms which we didn't understand. Here was an impartial person, not a loved one, telling us that we had rights as the ones who had raised her and we needed to be heard. To not sit back and take whatever someone else deemed we should. God, we loved this lawyer - she made us strong even though our backs were against the wall and we were being attacked from all sides. Because of the way the birth certificate was completed, our attorney made it impossible, through legal filings, for the bfather to have any contact with Hannah until he proved who HE was and not some sperm donor who thought he was a father. I know this type of stronghold against a bparent might offend some people but until those people have walked a mile in my shoes, with the threat of losing your child hanging over your head every minute of everyday for 2 years, I don't want to hear it. I didn't care about rights of the bparents or what the law said was right. Bottom line for me....I wasn't going to lose her and I would do or say what was necessary to keep her. That's the truth as harsh as it sounds.

Against all conceivable odds, luck was truly on our side here. We won our child, as sure as we had won the lottery and it made me just as happy, although mentally, I was totally a wreck. I needed help to try and put myself back together. After living in absolute fear and terror for almost 3 years I could barely function without that fear to drive me. It's very hard to explain if you've never experienced it. Your body learns how to cope under high levels of stress and when that stress is suddenly gone....thoughts, feelings and body functions are totally out of whack. I needed to learn how to live again without fear although here came the anxiety and depression and OCD to really make things fun. I've now got them under control with medication and therapy and I'm so proud of myself and the strides I've made in doing so. I still go to therapy about once a month and take medicine every day. I've tried to wean off the meds but the anxiety and out of control feelings come roaring back. Maybe something was permanently damaged with my thought process during this. Oh well, whatever it is, many people take meds everyday for hundreds of different ailments and why not this?

Today we have no idea what has happened to the bfather. He just went away. Maybe it had to do with the fact that we didn't make anything easy for him. He was one of those "oh poor me, everybody owes me, life has dealt me a lemon" type of people that I want to choke the shit out of. Life dealt Gary and I some huge lemons also but we tried to make the best of it.

We made delicious, cool, refreshing lemonade.


Heather said...

Oh hun, (((HUGS))) for you , hubby, and little Hanna. God bless you all for all you have gone through. I do know what it is like to deal within the courts and to feel so scared and alone. I went through a lot with oldest and her sperm donor as I call him. I know the fear you speak of only to well. The never being able to sleep, the constant sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when the phone rings, but like yours ours is finally over. I am so glad Hannah found her way to you. Just as it was intended. Kids are gifts no matter how they come to you. I admire you more and more every day.

Tammy said...

Oh Sheri, what a journey to your DD. I really don't know what brought me here this morning except I needed a connection to another adoptive mom. Now, to hear what you went through and survived, are thriving with your DD, I can face the stuff we have to.

I am so sorry you were forced to go thru this experience. I have come to believe that the high levels of stress and anxiety for long periods of time do change us.

Thankful today that Hannah is with her Mommy. Taking a cool drink from your pitcher of lemonade too!!!! ((((Hugs))))

LibrarianOnTheLoose said...

Just wanted to drop in and say how brave you are! Thank god every thing worked out for the best. Thanks for showing me Rosie's blog!

Cindy said...

Wow. Sometimes the law just amazes you. I'm glad you shared that story. You hear about it all the time. You do everything you think is right, and then something comes crashing in at the last minute.

Thanks for sharing your story.